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Joan Dangerfield with Farrah Fawcett

releasing Butterflies to honor Rodney's spirit

Respect was the word of the day, when Rodney Dangerfield’s gorgeous widow, Joan, invited a throng of tinsel town’s finest to honor his first year of Immortality. The legendary comedian, who passed away last year, complained that he couldn’t get “no respect”. But posthumously, he hit the jackpot! In letters 2000 feet tall, the word Respect was emblazoned over three miles across the Hollywood skyline in his honor.

Familiar faces like Roseanne, Bill Maher, Bob Saget, and Louie Anderson were there sipping rose martinis and trading memories about the talented thespian. As Joan stated, “Rodney’s energy and purity is now passed on to each of us and to future generations. Rodney will always represent what it feels like for us all to crave a little respect.”

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Roseanne at Celebration

of Rodney Dangerfield's life

The crowning glory was when Farrah Fawcett (whose Mom was half Choctaw Indian) conducted a Native American ritual, and each guest was given a live Monarch butterfly for a special butterfly release ceremony. Fabulous Farrah announced that she will be sculpting a life size statue of Rodney to be installed at the prestigious Pierce Brothers Memorial Park.

Others in attendance included Karen and Howard Baldwin, Academy Award wining producers of Ray, who are preparing to produce Rodney, and bring his life story to the big screen to further expand his legacy. Thank God, he finally received the respect he so richly deserved.

A few days later, we joined Nicollete Sheridan (Desperate Housewives) at the Playboy Mansion to attend the 11th Annual Safari Brunch to benefit the Wildlife Waystation. Founded in 1976 by wildlife lover Martine Colette, the Waystation is the largest facility of its kind in North America. They provide rescue, rehabilitation, relocation and a permanent sanctuary for both native and exotic wildlife.

Hosted by humanitarian Bob Lorsch, some of the celebs seen strolling around Hugh Hefner’s tropical paradise, included Loretta Swit (Mash), Bernie Koppel (Love Boat), Dyan Cannon and Astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Fellow columnist, Anita Talbert conducted a sensational super silent/live auction, which raised huge funds for this worthy cause.

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Nicollette Sheridan with Philanthropist, Bob Lorsch

at Wildlife Waystation Event

But the real stars of the day were the animal guests, including Samburu the Lion and Montana the White Tiger – who posed with photos with some brave guests. The closest I got to wildlife was when I consented to have Banana Slug, a 20 foot phython , draped around my neck for a photo op.

William Shatner received The Special Friend of Animals Award, and Arthur Kassel was lauded for his tireless work on behalf of the sanctuary. As they say: “We can judge the heart of a man, but his treatment of animals.” Bravo to all who care so much for those who cannot speak for themselves on the Hollywood Beat.